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Brawn woos Vettel 10:58
Australia bemoan the cost of their GP
As we await the preliminary F1 schedule for 2014 due in the next week or so, the Australian debate emerges again. This year the cost to the Victoria government to host the race was 20m Euro. Under the escalator agreed in the current contract it will be 22m Euro to Bernie in 2014.
Tourism Minister Louise Asher today in sportal.au doesn’t rule out the potential for more races to be held after 2015 – when the current contract ends – but she insists it wouldn’t occur at the expense of ‘value for money for taxpayers’.
“I have asked the chairman of the Grand Prix Corporation, Mr (Ron) Walker, to commence preliminary discussions with (F1 supremo) Mr (Bernie) Ecclestone over our future contract. There’s no rush on this, obviously, because there’s still two events to go and the government will not be signing up anything if it does not represent good value for money for taxpayers.
I don’t think it’s the right thing to do by either the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Corporation, or anybody for me to start putting limits in a public sense on what the government would be prepared to subsidise. But generally the driver of all government activity on this will be we will only sign a new contract if it represents good value for money.
Asher then rather strangely adds, “This is a very, very expensive race, and I personally am not happy about the amount of subsidies.”
Australian Grand Prix CEO Andrew Westacott suggested financial arrangements weren’t the only stumbling blocks in the way of Melbourne’s future as a Formula One city, with a host of other Asian cities clamouring over themselves to take the marquee event off the Victorian capital.
“Back at the start of the contract there was only one other event in Asia and that was Japan, and then Melbourne came along. Now there’s seven events in Asia and we go into Asia in prime time.
So with a 5pm timeslot, Melbourne is broadcast into Asia on free-to-air at lunchtime and into the European market at breakfast”.
Ecclestone has been pressing the Australian GP promoter’s to hold the event as a night race to ease the burden of a 4-5am reveille. Further, the 5pm start and late afternoon qualifying can mean the main event on Saturday and Sunday may come perilously close to the bain of the cricketers’… where… ‘bad light stops play’.
Yet the cost of lighting Albert Park or a Melbourne street circuit would put an estimated 10m euro’s onto the cost of the event, which at present makes no money despite excellent attendance.
Bianchi to a midfield team
Ferrari is keen for Bianchi to build more experience prior to joining them later in his career. Bianchi has impressed even though he is racing for backmarkers Marussia this season. His manager, Nicolas Todt confirmed ferrari is looking to place him in a midfield team.
“Despite the fact that he is with a small team, it would be fair to say that Jules has already made a name for himself in Formula One. Others have rarely managed to achieve this. Ferrari is closely watching the results as they want him to pursue his career in one of the teams in the middle group, before joining the Scuderia one day.”
Nicolas Todt was seen in conversation with Sauber at Spa and with the team about to announce a new Ferrari engine deal the latter may depend on taking a Ferrari academy driver.
It is widely believed that Sirotkin will join Sauber as well depending if on him acquiring a Super Licence. However, as Marussia also have a deal with Ferrari could we see them fielding Sirotkin with Bianchi joining Sauber to partner a more experienced driver, possibly Massa (should he decide to stay in Formula 1)?
Mercedes has the best teammate pairing
Is Vettel starting to feel lonely with no support from his teammate (not that he needs it)? In an interview with Bild, Vettel was asked who, of the current Formula 1 drivers, he would consider as the best team pairing.
“Hamilton and Rosberg. They push as well as harmonise one another very well.” When asked about his relationship with Webber the well known line, “Our relationship is completely professional,” was given.
It leaves you to wonder, would Vettel like it if Hamilton joins Red Bull?
Ricciardo in 2014 Red Bull seat fitting
Two weeks ago TJ13 reported Ricciardo has signed for Red Bull Racing to partner Vettel in 2014. Mark Webber said that the deal [for the Red Bull Seat] was done and “it is good for him and good for Australia” yet Reb Bull keeps denying it as “other options” have become available.
Speed Week now reports that Ricciardo has done a seat fitting for the 2014 car this week.
If Ricciardo is not signed by Red Bull they are going through a lot of trouble to bluff…
Another Formula 1 documentary to follow Rush
Another Formula 1 documentary is soon to be released. The documentary looks at how safety in the sport has increased after a spate of driver deaths in the sport.
A number of Formula 1 key players were interviewed for this documentary including Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley, Michael Schumacher, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Niki Lauda, John Surtees and Damon Hill.
If you are interested, it should be available for download by the 1st October.
Signs increase Ross Brawn to leave Mercedes
When Mercedes announced Paddy Lowe was joining the team it became clear Brawn was on borrowed time. When Lowe joined the team after his gardening leave was shortened with permission from McLaren, Brawn said he will “work with Paddy for the next six months, maybe longer. When the transition occurs, there will be a soft handover“.
It now appears Brawn is definitely on his way out. Lauda told BBC Sport “I talked to Ross on Tuesday and tried to convince him to be there [next year]. I can’t force him. It’s his decision but I think I’m making good progress.”
At the time of the announcement that Lowe was joining Mercedes and Brawn was to do a soft handover he [Brawn] said he don’t know when he will step back but he is looking forward to 2014. “I don’t know yet [about stepping back]. I’m already looking forward to the new season. 2014 will be a very exciting year, because a completely new technology comes into play. Mercedes will be in a promising situation. It will be great fun!”
His words, typical to Brawn, can be read in various ways but, could it be that he is not considering retirement but…
With Alison moving to Ferrari, Rory Bryne already working on the 2014 campaign, could Ferrari be trying to rekindle the glory years of 2000 – 2004 with all but Jean Todt? Does Kimi know this and does Alonso know this?
Brawn woos Vettel
The speculation about the driver market at present is becoming rather dull. Yet this may be because TJ13 first reported an impending Richter scale 9 driver move back in July when all the F1 press had gone on holiday.
Ricciardo is going to Red Bull. The only reason Horner et al are saying ‘the matter is not yet decided’ is because the speculation about Raikkonen or Alonso driving for Red Bull may somewhat destabilise their opponents.
Now we are hearing that yet again McLaren have come to the party when all the champagne is finished. Whitmarsh admits that Kimi would be an asset to their team, but that they’ve not had any talks with him. Jenson is nervy as his 2014 option has not been activated by the team.
Massa and Sirotkin to Sauber along with Bianchi and Hulkenberg??? – sounds like Sauber are expanding.
Yada yada yada.
What is certain, if we get one top driver moving it creates a few other opportunities, but if we get 2 top driver moves the whole pack of cards can be thrown up in the air. However, the Webber retirement doesn’t fit this category as his place is being taken by a young gun.
All eyes will be on Ferrari in Monza. Kimi to Maranello does create a number of possibilities elsewhere – such as (and you heard it here first) – Massa to Toro Rosso 😉
Anyway, the back to the story which is in fact rather a spoof. The title should really say Braun woos Sebastian Vettel, because he has agreed a personal endorsement deal to become a global ambassador for the German brand’s new range of men’s electric grooming equipment.
The 26-year-old will be the face of the company’s multi-platform ‘Hold on to your Dreams’ campaign. “I grew up with the Braun brand,” said Vettel. “We both come from the same state of Hesse, so the connection is deep rooted. I have always been amazed by how much technology goes into Braun shavers.”
Lakis Vasileiadis, Braun’s global marketing director, added: “We are truly delighted to have Sebastian as our new ambassador. He is an impressive man who has achieved his dream through hard work, preparation, perseverance and the ultimate performance. He is a leader in his sport.”
TJ13 applauds these deals the grooming companies are striking with the drivers. The reason being is that of late it has been clear that the F1 boys are obviously so ‘busy doing nothing’ that they have become lethargic and sloppy over personal hygiene.
“Facial fluff smeared with sweat following a race is not attractive lads” – according to Mrs. Judge.
Anyway following dinner one evening last weekend, I’m hoping Lynx or some other antiperspirant company will offer one particular F1 driver a global ambassadorial role – and quickly please.